When Disney and Pixar's first Incredibles movie was released, it hit theaters at a much different time than we currently live in. Superhero films weren't the tentpole events that they are now, and cinematic universes were unheard of. What few superhero movies we did get were mostly standalone adventures with Spider-Man or super-powered team-ups with the X-Men. Thus, when the Incredibles arrived on the screen to battle Syndrome, the game was changed. Here was a superhero movie done right -- and it didn't even come from a comic book.
Since then, superhero movies have become global events, often the most highly-anticipated releases of any given year. Thanks to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and its carefully constructed tapestry of interlocking movies, superheroes have reached the upper stratosphere of mass popularity. It's something that only grew bigger with the arrival of the DC Extended Universe of movies, inspiring rival studios to produce more unique and genre-defining films like Logan and Deadpool. But can all of that success be traced back to Pixar's The Incredibles? Well of course. Because after all these years, the first Incredibles is still the best superhero film out there.
Putting the "Family" in "Super-Family"
It's no wonder that to this day, some fans still refer to The Incredibles as the best Fantastic Four movie. It's not just that the main characters' superpowers were similar, it's because there was a true bond between the two quartets. For his super-family film, writer and director Brad Bird decided to focus on the familial environment of the Parrs long before zeroing in on what makes them super. When you strip away the more flamboyant aspects and the colorful action of The Incredibles, it's still a story that pulls you in. At its heart, it's a tale about a very normal/abnormal family. Yes, they use their superpowers sometimes, but they are still living the most relatable life possible.
The children go to school, the father works and the mother stays at home to take care of the newborn. And while all of them are in different places, both physically and mentally, they're still trying to find their own identities. Both hover on the line between the super and the mundane, trying to find the right balance that will allow them to get by. It's definitely a universal theme at work, one that is only accentuated by the presence of superpowers. The Parrs embedded into the hearts of audiences because they are just like everyone else, because they fight and have disagreements, but also because they're there for each other, no matter what.